Laustin1878

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Sounds and looks shady, but seems to work well. A family friend is dealing with a company that uses this. Aside from not seeing any visible work being done, no data produced to this point, no content to be seen either on my friends site or external sites, no visible inbound links, the site does rank fairly well. My gut tells me it ranks well because the competition isn't very strong but I don't know for sure.

One thing that exists on their website, which was redesigned in 2016, is links on the bottom of the pages saying, "Serving XXX, XXX, XXX." I thought this was frowned upon? I see it all the time and on top ranking sites. I've stayed away from it personally, b/c it seems spammy but it seems to work. I mean, even the content is spammy to me.

I'm hesitant to point them in the wrong direction despite all of my feelings pointing to this "tactic" being utter BS. I don't want to see her lose any rankings and resulting business. Although, she has no clue where her business is coming from.

I've never been good at making definitive calls like this. I should tell her to run but...
 
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I'm afraid I haven't heard of Semantixs, but there's a lot of companies selling SEO services, and a very wide range of quality. I tried looking up Semantixs, but all I could see was an open source project for semantically interpreting text. I can't imagine how an SEO would be able to use a tool like that as a cornerstone of their practice, but it doesn't intrinsically mean they aren't also doing useful work too.

As for the 'serving xxx, xxx, xxx' text on the bottom, as long as it's not done too heavily it shouldn't cause ranking issues, though it's unlikely to help anything either. Even geographic keywords (city, state) in the title and headline tags has been shown to be less useful than common knowledge would suggest.

Without seeing the site it's going to be hard to say more than that. I'd be a little suspicious too though, given this SEO company's focus on such an unusual tool. If you're comfortable posting your friend's site, I could take a look. Sounds like you already know what to think though, and you're just looking for confirmation before pulling the trigger. From the sounds of it, I wouldn't be looking at anything you haven't already checked on yourself.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I'm afraid I haven't heard of Semantixs, but there's a lot of companies selling SEO services, and a very wide range of quality. I tried looking up Semantixs, but all I could see was an open source project for semantically interpreting text. I can't imagine how an SEO would be able to use a tool like that as a cornerstone of their practice, but it doesn't intrinsically mean they aren't also doing useful work too.

As for the 'serving xxx, xxx, xxx' text on the bottom, as long as it's not done too heavily it shouldn't cause ranking issues, though it's unlikely to help anything either. Even geographic keywords (city, state) in the title and headline tags has been shown to be less useful than common knowledge would suggest.

Without seeing the site it's going to be hard to say more than that. I'd be a little suspicious too though, given this SEO company's focus on such an unusual tool. If you're comfortable posting your friend's site, I could take a look. Sounds like you already know what to think though, and you're just looking for confirmation before pulling the trigger. From the sounds of it, I wouldn't be looking at anything you haven't already checked on yourself.

I halfway disagree with that article.

Recently, all we did was change a client's title tag to their keywords and saw a decent increase. I do agree though that you should be using a CTA as the 2nd part of your title tag to increase CTR for better rankings. Do both.

Laustin - if you drop the website in here we can check for you.
 
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@Joshua - yeah, I still make changes to client title/header tags. I don't doubt that you did see a change in one instance too. Part of what's tough about SEO I think, there's so many things going on, and as humans, we're not very well suited to sifting through large amounts of information. It's easy to take anecdotes as law just because that's what our experience was, when we maybe just have an incomplete picture. I think a big data approach is the surest way to figure out what Google's actually doing, but at a certain point... still better safe than sorry. No harm after all in doing a little title tag optimization, so long as conversion is the main focus, and you're not spammy about it.
 

JoshuaMackens

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@Joshua - yeah, I still make changes to client title/header tags. I don't doubt that you did see a change in one instance too. Part of what's tough about SEO I think, there's so many things going on, and as humans, we're not very well suited to sifting through large amounts of information. It's easy to take anecdotes as law just because that's what our experience was, when we maybe just have an incomplete picture. I think a big data approach is the surest way to figure out what Google's actually doing, but at a certain point... still better safe than sorry. No harm after all in doing a little title tag optimization, so long as conversion is the main focus, and you're not spammy about it.

We just started with the client with zero SEO. Changed 1 thing, the title tag. 2 days later after a crawl, relatively big bump.

I'm a massive proponent of understanding causation vs correlation in SEO but in a vacuum this one was easy to spot.
 
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